BARNES, P. J., MERCIER and BROWN, JJ.
Brown appeals his conviction for speeding. He argues that the
trial court erred in admitting evidence from a laser speed
detection device despite the State's failure to comply
with the requirements for admission of such evidence. For the
reasons set forth below, we affirm in part, vacate in part,
and remand with direction.
On appeal from a criminal conviction, the evidence is viewed
in the light most favorable to the verdict, and the
presumption of innocence no longer applies. An appellate
court does not weigh the evidence or judge the credibility of
witnesses, but only determines whether the adjudication of
guilt is supported by sufficient competent evidence. In bench
trials, the findings of the trial court will not be set aside
unless clearly erroneous and regard must be given to the
trial court's opportunity to assess the credibility of
(Citation and punctuation omitted.) In the Interest of B.
D. S., 269 Ga.App. 89, 90 (603 S.E.2d 488) (2004). So
viewed, the evidence shows that on the night of August 19,
2017, a DeKalb County officer was parked on Interstate 285,
monitoring eastbound traffic on a section of highway where
the speed limit was 65 miles per hour. Shortly after
midnight, the officer spotted a red Acura traveling faster
than surrounding cars. Believing the Acura was exceeding the
65 mile per hour speed limit, the officer trained a laser
speed detection device on the vehicle and obtained a reading
of 95 miles per hour. The officer then initiated a traffic
stop, during which he determined that Brown was the driver.
Brown was issued a citation and then indicted on two counts
of speeding. At the conclusion of a bench trial, the trial
court found Brown guilty on both counts.
Brown first argues that the trial court erred in admitting
evidence from the laser speed detection device because the
State did not present evidence satisfying the certification
requirements of OCGA § 40-14-4. As we have previously
explained, "[t]he certification requirements of OCGA
§ 40-14-4 do not apply to laser detection devices."
(Citation omitted.) In the Interest of B. D. S., 269
Ga.App. at 91 (3).
Brown next argues that the trial court should not have
admitted the laser detection evidence without proof that the
officer tested the laser device at the beginning and end of
his "duty tour" as required by OCGA § 40-14-5.
Assuming that this statute even applies to laser detection
devices,  the State presented such proof in the form
of the officer's testimony during the bench trial.
Specifically, the officer testified that he tests the device
at the beginning and end of each "duty tour" and
keeps a log of this testing. While the logs were not
introduced into evidence, nothing in the language of the
statute or in our case law requires this. OCGA §
40-14-5 (c) (1) provides that an officer's log of testing
the device "shall be admissible in any court proceeding
for a violation issued pursuant to Code Section
40-14-18," but does not dictate that only such
a record can supply evidence meeting the requirements of OCGA
§ 40-14-5. Cf. Lafavor v. State, 334 Ga.App.
125, 127-128 (2) (778 S.E.2d 377) (2015) (language in OCGA
§ 40-14-17 providing that a certified copy of the
Department of Public Safety's list of approved models
"shall be self-authenticating and [a]dmissible" for
adjudicatory purposes does not require such a document and
circumstantial evidence in the form of officer's
testimony was sufficient). Accordingly, this argument is
Brown contends that it was error to admit the laser detection
evidence because the State failed to prove the existence of
signs at the county line indicating (a) the speed limit and
(b) that speed detection devices were in use. See OCGA §
40-14-6. However, "this Court has repeatedly held[ that]
incomplete compliance with this statute does not mandate that
evidence obtained by the speed detection device be
excluded." Frasard v. State, 322 Ga.App. 468,
470 (2) (b) (745 S.E.2d 716) (2013). See also Ferguson v.
State, 263 Ga.App. 40, 41 (3) (587 S.E.2d 195) (2003).
extent Brown argues that the State failed to present evidence
establishing that the officer operated the laser detection
device more than 600 feet from a reduction in speed limit
sign, see OCGA § 40-14-9, we disagree. While the officer
testified that he knew a speed limit sign was located between
his location and Bouldercrest Road, he could not say how many
feet it was from his location. However, the officer testified
that the posted speed limit does not change from 65 miles per
hour on this portion of Interstate 285, and OCGA §
40-14-9 refers only to "a reduction of a
Finally, Brown contends that without the erroneously admitted
laser detection evidence, he could not have been convicted of
speeding. This argument is without merit. As explained in
Divisions 1-3, supra, the trial court did not err in
admitting the laser detection evidence. "Furthermore, an
officer's estimate of speed is sufficient to support a
conviction on a speeding violation." (Citation and
punctuation omitted.) Lafavor, 334 Ga.App. at 127
(1). Here, the officer testified that he was trained to
visually estimate the speed of a moving vehicle within three
miles per hour and that he had years of experience of
tracking a moving vehicle, estimating its speed, and
verifying his estimate. The officer testified that as he
observed the red Acura, it was going "well over 65 miles
[per] hour," and he estimated it was traveling at a
speed above 90 miles per hour. Even without the laser
detection evidence, this testimony alone was sufficient to
sustain Brown's conviction.
Finally, "[w]e are required to consider whether counts
merge for sentencing purposes even though [Brown] failed to
raise the claim in the trial court, or to challenge the
sentence on appeal." (Citation and punctuation omitted.)
Frasard, 322 Ga.App. at 473 (5). Based on this
Court's holding in Frasard and the Supreme Court
of Georgia's recent holding in Scott v. State,
____ Ga. ____ (3) (___ S.E.2d ___) (Case No. S18G1644,
decided August 19, 2019), we conclude that the trial court
erred when it failed to merge the two speeding counts for
sentencing purposes. We therefore vacate the trial
court's judgment of conviction and remand for
affirmed in part and vacated in part, and case remanded with
Barnes, P J, and ...